Dear Colleague,

I am excited to announce the launch of The Democracy Collaborative’s Climate and Energy program, which will be led by co-managers Johanna Bozuwa and Carla Santos Skandier. This program will build on our existing work in these areas and focus on the intersections between a just transition and the development of a democratic economy. Johanna and Carla recently authored  "a transatlantic proposal" for making public power a core feature of the Green New Deal, which was published by the UK-based think tank Common Wealth. Johanna was also interviewed by the Real News Network about the recent power outages in New York City and calls by elected officials and others for public ownership to increase accountability, quality, and sustainability. Read more about the opportunity for democratic public control of New York City’s power in the Gothamist.
 
In addition to the transatlantic Green New Deal, we are also seeing a transatlantic conversation unfolding about the role of healthcare systems as anchor institutions. In the US, the Healthcare Anchor Network recently hosted its first ever CEO Convening, bringing together leadership from some of the nation’s largest health systems in conversation about how to leverage their collective resources to improve community health and wellbeing. Read more about the anchor approach in Grantmakers in Health. Across the Atlantic, the Health Foundation has just released a report calling on the National Health Service (NHS) to maximize its roles as an anchor institution, making recommendations to embed this approach within one of the world’s largest employers. The Democracy Collaborative and the Center for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) partnered to support this report. Read more below.
 
Anchor Institutions are part of what Executive Vice President Marjorie Kelly and I deemed important assets in the effort to bring about a more democratic economy in our new book, The Making of a Democratic Economy. We write, "the seeds of a future beyond corporate capitalism and state socialism are being planted in hospital procurement departments, pension fund offices, and even company boardrooms." Over the last month, we have traveled across the country to share the book, and wherever we have gone, we have found incredible momentum around these ideas. At a launch event at The Strand Bookstore in New York City, Phil Thompson shared that the book provides a hopeful direction in a time of anxiety, and outlined his goals for economic democracy in New York City. Watch the remarks and a conversation with Marjorie and myself here. Read an excerpt from our book in Yes! Magazine and coverage in Fast Company, Shelterforce, and Uprise RI. Marjorie and I have also made a number of TV and radio appearances to discuss the work highlighted in the book. Listen more in: The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow; the Thom Hartmann Program; Rising Up with Sonali; Jefferson Public Radio; America’s Work Force Radio; and Leonard Lopate at Large on WBAI Radio in New York.
 
Lastly, The Democracy Collaborative team is hiring! Review our open positions and internships here.

Sincerely,
Ted Howard
President and Co-Founder,
The Democracy Collaborative

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TDC & CWB in the News

  • The Nation recently published an article focused on the opportunity of employee ownership to build a more “humane economy,” highlighting the work of Fifty by Fifty, TDC’s project focused on turning 50 million employees into owners by 2050. Fifty by Fifty recently published an article exploring barriers for minority-owned businesses to convert to ESOPs and detailing the impact of current government contracting preferences.
  • Last month also marked the 100th anniversary of the publicly-owned Bank of North Dakota. Research Director Thomas Hanna and Program Associate Adam Simpson wrote a piece in In These Times commemorating the anniversary and discussing current movements for public banking.
  • Policy Associate Peter Gowan was quoted in a Washington Post article about the growing momentum around reducing working hours.
  • An article in Pensions Expert highlights the Lancashire County Council Pension Fund, an element of the Preston Model of community wealth building, which has invested £200m in its local community since 2013.

New from The Democracy Collaborative

New report: the role of the NHS as an anchor institution

The Health Foundation recently released a report on how the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) can maximize its role as an anchor institution, leveraging its sizeable economic footprint to improve health and wellbeing. The report, which incorporates research from The Democracy Collaborative and the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), discusses activities currently underway within the NHS and makes the case for further investment in the areas of procurement, hiring, capital assets and land use, sustainability, and community partnerships. Read a press release about the report here and download the report here.

Read More

Featured Video & Audio

Why governments should prioritize wellbeing
In this TED Talk, Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, discusses the importance of working towards a “wellbeing economy,” instead of traditional economic development policy that prioritizes growth of GDP. Scotland is one of the three members of the Wellbeing Economy Governments (WEGo) partnership.
 

Election-year debate: “Wish-list economics” or necessary transformation?
One of the key points of contention in the Democratic primary race is defining what policies and proposals are “radical” and which are “pragmatic.” This episode of the Next System Podcast features several TDC staff members giving their ideas about what should be on a “wish list” for economic transformation, and the need for radical proposals.

Recommended Reads

Reparations Now Toolkit

Released by the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), this toolkit provides individuals, organizations, and communities with resources for facilitating pubic discussion on, and organizing around, reparations for Black people in the United States. The toolkit includes a history of the struggles around reparations, outlines the historical and legal frameworks underlying such demands, and makes the case that reparations are essential. The toolkit includes discussion guides for group activities and case studies to support organizers seeking reparations at the institutional, local, state, and international levels. Read more here.
 


Toolkit on Rural Electric Cooperatives

Over 40 million residents in the US receive their power from Rural Electric Cooperatives (RECs). While these member-owned utilities have the potential to catalyze a transition to renewable energy, many operate like traditional utilities, powered by fossil fuels and with very little participation from members. This new toolkit from the New Economy Coalition provides resources for members of RECs to democratize their electric co-op, and build a campaign around member priorities, such as clean energy, rural broadband, and inclusive financing. Read more here.

Featured Website

NYC Kids RISE

With a goal of making attendance and graduation from college more achievable for all public school students, NYC Kids RISE operates the Save for College Program in partnership with the NYC Department of Education and the City of New York. The program provides a universal scholarship and savings platform to NYC families, helping to increase college attainment while reducing the amount of debt that students and their families have to take on. 
 

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